Characters are an essential component to every story. No matter what age range a story is aimed at or what genre it is in, characters are often the most defining feature in books, movies, plays and other media that audiences most remember. Some characters can come across as so vivid and life-like that it is hard to believe that they are not actually real people. Contrarily, other characters are either one-dimensional or fantastical; obvious creations from a writer’s lucid imagination.
Although characters are as varied as the stories that they come from, many have the ability to both entertain and educate audiences—especially young audiences. For this reason some characters and television shows—like “Dora the Explorer”—have become award-winning emblems of early education. As long as a child can feel an emotional connection with a character then they can learn from that character much like they learn from their family members and friends. Some characters have been designed to teach children a specific lessons (such as how to prevent forest fires or count to ten) while other characters teach informal lessons through example, such as Elmo’s representation of innocence and love.
Characters are timeless and so even ones that have been around for centuries, such as the characters in fairy tales, can still be beloved by children in the modern day. Furthermore, creative people are always thinking up new concepts for media containing new characters that aim to entertain and sometimes even teach.
Below is a list of five famous characters that have made a mark in the hearts and memories of most people.